15 Aug 2011

Cut out almost every income tax loophole, make all income (capital gains on investments included) taxed using the same simple model, lower rates across the board (especially for lower and middle income earners - where the money will mostly go to boosting demand, where the economy is weakest right now) and put at least half of the savings towards cutting the deficit. Common sense ideas like this are how we could, in one fell swoop, make the tax system more fair, cut deficit spending and stimulate the economy where it needs stimulation - if we lived in a saner world. Fellow Omaha resident Warren Buffett (whose house I used to walk by often, having no idea it was his) talked at length about part of this equation in an op-ed in the New York Time on Sunday, saying that we need to "stop coddling the super-rich". I would have gone farther, saying we need to stop giving special deals to anyone. For example, why should investment income be treated any ...

17 Oct 2010

By Michael Insider trading is usually illegal and a major issue for securities law enforcement agencies. However, insider trading by people in Congress, their staff and lobbyists is perfectly legal. The financial news program Marketplace reported this on September 17, 2009. At 9:35 - 13:50 of the 2009 Marketplace program, they reported that House minority leader John Boehner (Republican, Ohio) and Senate minority whip Dick Durbin (Democrat, Illinois) both made insider trades after they were told at an emergency meeting in September 2008 that the U.S. financial system was near collapse and urgently needed a bailout. The next day Boehner traded out of a fund that was betting on a spike in inflation. Amazingly, Boehner was betting in 2008 that Congress, among other responsible parties, would fail to keep inflation under control. Durbin traded out of a mutual fund and put his money with Warren Buffett. Both denied taking any advantage of any ins...